Although the department has indicated that its is investigating the incident, the matter should be treated with urgency to avoid future incidents.
THE DA in the Northern Cape will request the provincial Department of Health to conduct an assessment of security measures and services provided at all health facilities in the Province following the rape of a 19-year-old female patient at Professor ZK Matthews Community Health Centre (CHC) in Barkly West.
It is alleged that a 32-year-old male patient at the CHC raped the woman on the weekend.
The DA provincial leader, Andrew Louw, said that they will investigate the status of safety at health facilities in the Province.
“We are horrified that such a vicious crime was able to take place at a government health facility. Hospitals and CHCs are places of refuge, where the poorest of the poor come to seek medical care and recover in a safe environment. The sick and injured certainly do not present at health facilities with one ailment, only to have to leave more broken and traumatised than when they arrived,” said Louw.
He added that although the department has indicated that its is investigating the incident, the matter should be treated with urgency to avoid future incidents.
“The problem, however, is that this incident must not be treated as an isolated incident. The level of security at health facilities across South Africa and in this Province, from our tertiary hospital in Kimberley to the regional and district hospitals, including the CHCs and even clinics, is lacking. This assessment should include the costs of private security services, who are contracted by the department. It will also be important to know how many health support staff are on duty in the facilities at all times, as it is critical that there is adequate supervision over patients. It is important that this matter is taken very seriously as it not only places the lives of patients but also all health workers at risk,” Louw said. – Benida Phillips